My godbrother is starting college this fall. So I deemed it necessary to write him and the rest of the class of 2018 (woah! so weird! I feel old!) a short list of advice for the next four years. So here it goes…..
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody, Especially College Freshmen):
“We grow neither better nor worse as we get older,
but more like ourselves.” May Lamberton Becker
Dearest little brother,
Off to college you go! I bet you are both excited and slightly nervous about what this next chapter holds. Don’t worry. College is basically a cushion period between childhood and adulthood. Enjoy these next four or five years. It is like adulthood on training wheels. You live on your own and make adult decisions, but still have your parents to fall back on in case you mess, which take me to my first bit of advice.
1- Don’t be afraid to mess up (because YOU WILL!) Hey! College is all about learning and growing. Often times to really grow, you have to get messy. You have to step outside your comfort zone and do things you may have never thought to try before. Don’t be so afraid of getting it wrong that you never try. As you embark on this new journey, remember it’s okay to stumble along the way.
2- Be yourself. So in high school, it can be tough. There are all these cliques and groups. Well college is a whole new ballpark. You can just be you and nobody really cares. Be quirky. Be weird. Be an introvert (well maybe try to be somewhat sociable). Be loud. Be artsy. Be curious. Be nerdy. Be you. This is such a fun chapter of your life because it is the beginning of the time of your life when you are going to find out more of who you are. Do yourself a huge favor and find your truest self and be every part of that.
3- Travel. Even if it is just up the street. College is all about exploring. You have the opportunity in college to travel abroad and even just go to new cities and states. Definitely look in to that at your school! You can even take road trips with friends on weekends. Whatever you do, get out of your comfort zone. Go somewhere where the people don’t look like you or think like you do. It is time to get uncomfortable.
4- Make new friends. This is one part of college that can be fun or not so fun depending on how you look at it. We are going to take the fun perspective. Your friend group will have a lot of ebbs and flows in college. As you are finding out who you are and your peers around you are doing the same, your friend circle will contract and expand regularly. Embrace it. Hold onto your friendships with open hands. Appreciate the people in your life right now and all that they have come to teach you. If some friends don’t make it to the next chapter, then, when the time comes, be willing to let them go. The right ones will stick around. Trust that.
5- Say yes. Be willing and ready to take opportunities as they come. College will present many different opportunities educationally, relationally, career and travel wise. Stay open. Be flexible. Say yes more often than you say know. Some opportunities don’t come around again. So stay open and be present in the moment.
I am so happy for you in this new season of your life! Maybe after you graduate college, we can talk about all the mistakes you make that you will probably avoid telling the parents! Maybe then you will be old enough to hear mine! Have fun, but not too much fun, of course! I believe that you are capable of doing great things. You got this kid!
P.S. Last, quick tip: Don’t cook too often or too well for your friends. They won’t ever leave!